Kerry Slick had long thought about going back to school but was undecided until she became a paralegal at the Hennepin County Attorney’s office. That work helped finalize her decision to attend law school.
Using her four-year degree in human services, Slick began in the child protection division of the office. She started as an office specialist, then moved into a paralegal role, where she’s been for nearly three years. The work, Slick notes, helped prepare her for law school. She was reading cases and petitions and getting a feel for how the court system worked.
Now working part-time while attending Mitchell Hamline, Slick says COVID also influenced her decision to apply. Working from home, she says, gave her “more time without having to commute and be in the office,” along with more flexibility.
While Slick navigates between school and her job as a paralegal, she says Mitchell Hamline stood out as her choice because she can adjust her schedule. Her fiancé also has a busy schedule and, with two dogs and a cat in their household, she needed the flexible framework the law school offers.
Slick hopes to mentor others who want to work while attending law school by telling her own story. She says while there’s a lot of work in law school, it’s about “showing others that it’s possible.”
“I can’t reiterate enough how well prepared I felt going into law school because I had that paralegal experience. I had a really solid foundation and understanding in terms of the law.”
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Slick also wants to promote more diversity in law. “We are in such a diverse world and place right now and to have someone who looks like you, or identifies the same way as you, is meaningful,” she said.
With plans to graduate in spring 2024, Slick hopes to continue working for the Hennepin County Attorney’s office. “I may not end there but that’s where I want to start.”
This article was written by Marla Khan-Schwartz, a freelance writer in the Twin Cities, and first appeared in Citations, a publication of the Minnesota Paralegal Association.
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